Politics

Breonna Taylor case: Kentucky attorney general asks for patience as police killing probe continues

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Key Points
  • Kentucky's attorney general on Thursday asked the public to remain patient with his office's investigation of the police killing of Breonna Taylor.
  • Taylor, who was Black, died after being shot eight times by cops during a no-knock search warrant raid on her Louisville home.
  • No charges have been filed in the case, three months after she was killed. Police have been charged in killings in Minneapolis and Atlanta of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, respectively.
A demonstrator holds a sign with the image of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers, during a protest against the death George Floyd in Minneapolis, in Denver, Colorado on June 3, 2020.
Jason Connolly | AFP | Getty Images

Kentucky's attorney general on Thursday asked the public to remain patient with his office's investigation of the police killing of Breonna Taylor, more than three months after the Black emergency medical technician died during a raid on her Louisville home.

"I can assure you that at the end of our investigation, we will do what is right," Attorney General Daniel Cameron told reporters at a press conference, which did not include announcements of any criminal charges against police involved in the raid.

"We will find the truth," said Cameron, who took over the criminal investigation as a special prosecutor in the case last month.

"It's important that we get this right," he said.

The attorney general pointedly asked people to refrain from violent protest over the 26-year-old Taylor's killing.

"Violence and lawlessness will do nothing more than to perpetuate further tragedy," Cameron said.

He said he is "saddened and heartbroken" by Taylor's death.

Taylor's death has attracted nationwide interest and been among the subjects of protests in the weeks since the Minneapolis police killing of a Black man, George Floyd, on Memorial Day. 

The officer who knelt on Floyd's neck for more than seven minutes, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with murder and manslaughter in that case, and three other officers who assisted in the arrest have been charged with aiding and abetting those crimes. Floyd was being arrested on suspicion of using counterfeit money for a purchase. All four cops charged in the case have been terminated by the Minneapolis Police Department.

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On Wednesday, now-former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe, who fatally shot a Black man named Rayshard Brooks in the back as he allegedly pointed a taser at cops he was fleeing from, was charged with murder and other charges.

Another Atlanta cop, Devin Brosnan, was charged with aggravated assault and other counts in the incident, which occurred after cops roused a sleeping Brooks from a car parked outside a Wendy's fast-food restaurant Friday.

Cameron said his office is conducting an "independent" investigation of Taylor's death, while also continuing to receive information from the Louisville Police Department's public integrity unit.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron speaks during a roundtable discussion with President Donald Trump and law enforcement officials, Monday, June 8, 2020, at the White House in Washington.
Patrick Semansky | AP

"We believe that the independent steps we are taking are crucial for the findings to be accepted both by the community and those who are directly involved in the case," Cameron said.

"I'm not going to get into specifics of what we have," Cameron said when asked about evidence in the case.

He also said, "I'm not going to provide a specific date when our investigation will be concluded."

Taylor was shot eight times on March 13 by police, who were executing a no-knock search warrant at her residence as part of a drug investigation.

Her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against three cops, Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, alleging they "blindly" fired more than 20 shots into Taylor's apartment.

Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who was in the apartment with her during the raid, did not have criminal histories, and no drugs were found in the raid, according to the lawsuit. Walker, who attorneys have said feared a home invasion, fired a gun he had at one officer, hitting him in the leg.

Cameron took over as special prosecutor in the case because the local district attorney until recently was prosecuting Walker for attempted murder on the cop. Walker's case has since been dropped.

"An investigation of this magnitude requires time and patience," Cameron said.